Monday July 30, 2012
Mango tree bears fruit of discontent between neighbours
By ANDY CHUA
SIBU: Two neighbours at Jalan Bukit Assek have had sleepless nights all because of a sweet mango tree. None seems to claim ownership of it. In fact, both want to have it cut down but the subject of cost is contentious.
Besides, there is a bigger disagreement. There is, or rather was, no clear boundary to separate their houses, and when pegs were planted, one party still disagreed.
Their spat was brought to the police with each lodging a report against the other, not once but twice, and on separate days, although details as to when these were made were not available at press time.
But one of those reports was made on Monday by a 45-year-old woman who refused to be identified.
She claimed that the 7m mango tree had encroached into her compound. As a result, whenever the fruits fell, her neighbour – an old man in his 60s – would cross over to her yard to collect them.
There is no perimeter fencing between the two houses, which are separated only by a 3m buffer zone.
The police advised the complainant to refer the matter to the Land and Survey Department, which she did.
On Thursday, officers from the department came to survey the area.
The officers planted several pegs to indicate the boundary between the two properties.
The result of the survey showed that the tree was within the old man’s area.
The old man’s wife told The Star yesterday that the tree had always been there.
“Prior to this, there had never been any dispute between us over the tree. We are friends of her parents as we have been living here for almost 30 years.
“We are religious people and we are willing to end this quarrel because there is no point fighting over a petty matter like this,” she said.
She said her neighbour had suggested to have the tree cut down.
“We agreed to her suggestion. However, when we told her that she must bear the cost of felling and removing the tree, she disagreed,” the old man’s wife explained.
She said her younger neighbour also wanted them to share the RM240 surveying fee charged by the Land and Survey Department.
“Since she was the one who engaged the department for the service, she should be ready to pay the RM240. Nonetheless, in good faith we are willing to contribute RM40 to her,” the older woman said.
But whether that will be acceptable to the younger woman or not, the end is not within sight because the husband of the 45-year-old woman said he had another contention.
“What matters to me is that they (Land and Survey Department) have put up perimeter pegs to mark our neighbour’s backyard, which have encroached into our land by about 1m.
“We have several times put up signboards there to mark the boundary, but the signboards just kept on disappearing,” he claimed.
“We also wanted to build a perimeter fence around our house but the old man would always stop us from doing so.
“He had even told us that he would not hesitate to remove anything put up in that area.
“Maybe he feared that if we did so, he would not be able to collect his sweet mangoes,” he added.